Shoulder Season (March-May and August-October). For a combination of nice weather, lower crowds and low cost.
A word of warning
Regardless of historical weather trends - please remember the clouds and rain and come at any time.
November - February
The crowds are lower during this stretch, aside from a slight peak during the Christmas holiday. Crowds are lower in Mid-October to early March because it is Peru’s rainy season, which peaks in December and January (see charts below). However, this stretch of months is also Peru’s summer season, and while the day time temperatures remain about the same year round (lower 70’s), the night time temperatures will be several degrees warmer compared to May – August. If you are really concerned about crowds - check out Choquequirao.
September - Mid-November
To determine the most affordable months to travel we looked at: flight & hotel costs.
The peak months for price correspond with Peru’s dry season, which is from June to August. Travel prices will start going down after this three month stretch. Flights to Lima/Cusco, are at their lowest between September and November. If you have the flexibility to plan ahead for your trek, I highly recommend booking your flight at least 4-6 months in advance to decrease flight costs.
Just like airlines, the hotels in Cusco will also raise their prices during the peak season and lower them around the beginning of September. The average price of highly rated hotels in Cusco in July is $110/night. That average drops to $80/night in September and $70/night in October, saving you an average of $30-40/night.
June - Early August
The best months to visit Machu Picchu to get the best weather are the end of May to early August, which corresponds with Cusco’s dry season. These months are technically Peru’s Winter months. However, the Cusco region of Peru is moderately temperate so the temperatures will be warm, bordering on hot during the day, and slightly above freezing at night. You may be comfortable wearing shorts and short-sleeves as you hike through the Andes, but you will need to dawn an Alpaca sweater and a warm hat once the sun dips below the towering mountain peaks.
Because the weather during these months is so great, June to August is also the peak season for crowds. This is something to be aware of, if you go during these months for the weather, it will be crowded.
Optimal Llama Viewing
Don't worry, these beauties are here all year long.